Thursday, April 13, 2006

My Own Private Radio

I used to work at a college radio station. I was called the classical music drector, and I was responsible for building a classical record (I started working there in 1986) and CD library, teaching students how to pronounce the names of composers and performers, making programs, and spending a bunch of time on the air myself.

It happened that the university held a special workshop with Karl Haas, back in the days when the university in the town where I live invited classical musicians and people connected with the classical music world to campus.

I was a novice at radio, and I spent most of my time learning on the job. I can't remember exactly how it happened, but I was asked to do a radio interview with Karl Haas. I had been interviewed a few times, but I never actually conducted an interview before. I found Mr. Haas charming, and we got along just fine. When I confessed to him that I had never done an interview before, he told me that it was best not to talk too much before we got on the air or the interview would suffer. Once we were were in the studio and the microphone went on, Karl Haas changed from a medium baritone to a bass baritone. I believe we talked very frankly about music, but he was in total control of the interview. I learned everything I needed to know about classical radio from those thirty minutes.

Now that I am older and maybe a little bit wiser, I would love to be able to interview him again, but he is no longer alive, and my radio days ended when the university radio station abandoned its classical music programming.

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1 comment:

Susanjg said...

What a wonderful memory for you! I discovered Karl Haas as a teenager in Chicago in the late 60s (hate to think how long ago that was). I always listened to his wonderful Adventures whenever I could, and I never understood why a station would decide to discontinue to broadcast it.

I was fortunate to see Karl Haas in concert nearly 20 years ago. When he came out on the stage, he delighted the audience with his familiar "Hello, Everyone." Then he continued with "Before I begin, I have a confession to make: I didn't know what you look like, either." It brought down the house.

I do hope that some way will be found to again make the series available.

Best Wishes